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September 2015 - Posts

  • National Coffee Day with Ground Up

    Sep 29 2015

    Each day, our Ground Up pour over coffee crew enjoys their afternoon cup together. This special brew made our National Coffee Day celebrations complete.

  • Stop Selling and Start Telling a Story

    Sep 15 2015

    stop-selling-and-start-telling-a-story-beau-elwell Good branded content can make 30-second spots look like quaint, elbow-in-the-ribs sitcoms from the '60s. Consumers now expect more authentic content from their brands and less "selling." This quantum jump from push marketing to more robust storytelling occurred quickly, but it is here to stay.

    Social media and the resulting transparency make the latest generation of consumers savvier and less tolerant of traditional styles of advertising. Plus, with media consumption growing and fracturing at the same time, it behooves marketers to entertain and bring value to their customers' lives instead of simply adding a list of specs.

    So what are the keys to great branded content?

    • Research. Understand your target audience — branded content that fails to connect with consumers can have a negative impact.
    • Authenticity. The best branded content connects with the customers who understand your brand and want to align themselves with your philosophy.
    • Accessibility. Now more than ever, people want access to their brands — to feel like a part of their culture and that they are being heard. Use content to connect with people, allowing them to connect with your brand.
    • Storytelling. This is important. Get better at storytelling. Nearly all new media that have come online in the past decade are avenues for people to tell their stories. Your brand shouldn't be any different.

     

    Beau Elwell - Creative Director

  • Marketing Automation is the New Black

    Sep 15 2015

    Marketing automation has gained popularity in recent years thanks to the emergence and accessibility of automation software.

    It allows you to deliver personalized, relevant content to customers, leads and prospects, and to nurture leads across multiple channels.

    Many companies purchase marketing automation software thinking it comes equipped with all the necessary tools to generate, qualify and convert leads, which is why many out-of-the-box software implementations fail.

    Before you automate, consider these four things:

    1. Be strategic. A constant flow of new leads is crucial to successful automation. Relevant content attracts new leads and keeps prospects engaged throughout the buying cycle. You'll need a library of content that speaks to your audience's needs and challenges.
    2. Be realistic. Marketing automation tools help streamline and scale successful marketing efforts. You should already be generating a steady flow of leads and have a proven engagement strategy before deciding to automate.
    3. Start small. Create small pilot programs that can scale if the desired results are achieved. This way, you can easily identify successes and failures early on.
    4. Document everything. Keep a working master document explaining your internal processes, system configuration, program/asset naming conventions and overall strategy. Don't rely on one employee to be the central knowledge base for your organization.

     

    Tonya Walker - Marketing Automation Manager

  • What da Vinci Would Say About Online Marketing

    Sep 15 2015

    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." – Leonardo da Vinci

    Let's keep this simple. Let's amplify your offering in the digital marketplace. After your online marketing campaigns are live, we can layer in (simple) sophistications.

    First, a simple question: is your product/service "worth it"? Valuable, efficient, fun, useful, better and cost-effective are some words that come to mind. Paid online marketing can accelerate the success of a remarkable product or service, but it absolutely cannot save a bad one. So if you're confident, let's go!

    • Set your goals. Now stack them in order of importance. What winds up No. 1 on that list? That is your key performance indicator and should be top of mind at all times.
    • Implement your tracking. Go to Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager and follow the instructions. It's straightforward and costs nothing to tap into access of priceless data.
    • Develop multiple creative elements. You never know what messaging will resonate in the marketplace, so build and keep an arsenal of creative options to test.
    • Build your campaigns. There will be intricacies with each network, but each user interface will have simple instructions to follow.
    • Launch your campaigns and immediately begin to analyze your data. Focus your calculations on your key goals.

    With truly simple campaigns, the live data will almost immediately tell you what is working and what is not. Prune losing campaigns. Focus your time/energy/spend on optimizing the promising performers at this critical early juncture.

    Regardless of the size of your campaigns, these simple steps will successfully lead any winning product/service into the sophisticated world of paid marketing. Build on your initial successes to keep momentum going.

    And good luck. Although if you properly promote a remarkable product/service, you probably won't need it

     

    Ryan Weisman - Paid Media Strategist

  • When Silence is Golden

    Sep 15 2015

    when-silence-is-golden-judy-lynes If you are in a restaurant and overhear strangers at another table talking about a family tragedy, do you go over and offer your condolences? Not likely... since you don't know them, it's probably not appropriate to weigh in on their troubles.

    It's much the same with brands. There's no need to speak up on every issue in the news. Overused comments like, "our thoughts and prayers are with you," can come off sounding insincere. And you don't ever want to self-promote through tragedy — like Kenneth Cole's grand PR fail or SpaghettiOs' ill-advised observance of Pearl Harbor... featuring its mascot.

    Do you have a connection to the incident — in the same town, your employees are affected, etc.? Using the Boston Marathon bombing as an example, while some soft drink and shoe brands were spouting platitudes — and a foodie site tried to be clever — Boston-based John Hancock insurance donated $1 million to the victims' fund.

    What should you do? It's okay to not say anything. Stop any scheduled posts, and review all future outreach to catch anything that might be seen as insensitive. If you want to speak out, be sure you know your target audience and what will resonate with them. Be genuine so you're not seen to be going for a shameless plug.

     

    Judy Lynes - VP, Public Relations